Six Word Mantra


Do you have a mantra?

The word “mantra” comes from Buddhism and Hinduism.  It means a word or phrase that you repeat during meditation to aid your concentration or focus.  Like “Ohm.”  (That’s that symbol you see on a lot of yoga tank tops.)  Sometimes we use “mantra” to refer to our words to live by or essential wisdom.

I tried having a mantra once, back when Fartbuster was hanging out at the Buddhist Center in town.  I was learning how to meditate so instead of starting out like a normal person with five or ten minutes for a few days a week, I signed myself up for a four-hour session on a Saturday morning.  Yeahhhhhh…For my mantra, I chose “Breathe in, breathe out.”  The first three minutes were bliss, but in the fourth minute into the four hours I got that Bush song “Machinehead” stuck in my head because the chorus goes “Breathe in, breathe out, breathe in, breathe out.  Got a machine head, it’s better than the rest.  GOT A MACHINEHEAD!”  And so on.  

That was my last meditation retreat.  

In Tibetan Buddhism, an important part of spiritual practice is reciting the Six Word Mantra:  “Om Ma Ni Pad Me Hum.”  At one of the sessions I attended at BlogHer, the leader was a yogi who encouraged each of us to write and share our own six-word mantra.  These six words our focus and concentration on our writing.  

I distilled mine from a famous quote from Dag Hammarskjold, a Swedish diplomat who served as the second Secretary-General of the United Nations.  

“For all that has been–Thanks.  For all that will be–Yes.”  

These are the two lessons I have learned in my life:  gratitude for the story I have lived and enthusiasm for the stories that lie ahead of me.

So my six-word mantra was:  WHAT WAS?  THANKS.  WHAT COMES?  YES!  

What’s your six-word mantra?  

12 thoughts on “Six Word Mantra

  1. AmyB

    I’m gonna go with “Bless the rains down in Africa” because that is MUCH BETTER song to get stuck in my head.

    1. Baddest Mother Ever

      Here’s a secret cure to Jukebox Brain: when you get an annoying tune stuck in your head, start humming the theme music to “King of the Hill.” That thing is like a roto-rooter for earworms!


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